A betrayal at the deepest level.
My heart hurts so much when I receive emails from wives whose husbands have been unfaithful to them. I can’t even imagine the brokenness they must be feeling inside.
But then I read stories of how our God has redeemed and transformed marriages when the man had turned his life around and he’s seeking to restore his relationship with his wife. I say praise the Lord to this!
Yet, unfortunately, that is not always the case for every wife. While some husbands have ended their affairs, that does not mean they have necessarily sought restoration and reconciliation with their wife. And worse yet, some husbands have repeatedly strayed from the marriage committing one affair after another throughout their marriage.
All the wives of these husbands have sought forgiveness and reconciliation for their marriage yet their men have either emotionally or physically (in a sexual sense) left the marriage.
So the emails keep coming in from wives asking what they should do in this type of situation.
When I read a wife’s email about what has taken place in her marriage the number one thing I’m looking for is where her heart is in respect to her relationship with the Lord. And does she have children?
There’s a reason why God placed the option in His Word for a spouse to leave the marriage if the other was unfaithful…He knew not all spouses would want reconciliation.
So what’s a wife to do if she’s in this situation?
If you (or perhaps someone you know) is dealing with adultery here are some things to consider:
- First, forgiveness as a Believer is paramount! You need to forgive him.
- Second, if your man wants to work on the marriage and if you feel the Lord is leading you to restoration, then walk this path. For some marriages, reconciliation and restoration from an affair will work. But for other marriages it won’t because the husband’s heart is hard towards God and towards his wife.
- If your man is only seeking to skate by in your marriage because he got caught and he doesn’t want to lose his family, yet he’s not looking to truly love you as his wife, then you really need to ask yourself if you want to remain in the marriage for only those reasons. I personally don’t believe those are good enough reasons to stay in a marriage, after all, you are the one who will be doing the work of holding together a loveless relationship.
- You need to ask yourself if it’ll be okay for you to never feel loved by him again.
- Can you let go of the bitterness you have towards him?
- Most importantly, what is your husband’s act of adultery doing to your relationship with the Lord? Is it drawing you away from Christ and causing you to feel bitterness towards the Lord? If it is, my encouragement to you would be for you to step away from the marriage. (Now if your man changes and has a truly repentant heart and you feel over time that the Lord is bringing the two of you together, then seek to restore the relationship!!) Otherwise, walk away from your marriage so you can protect your spiritual well-being. Be careful that you don’t turn your marriage/his unfaithfulness into an idol.
“You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3
Always make sure your relationship with the Lord is your number one concern as you walk this path.
- Now this point is imperative….
What is your husband’s unrepentant, marital infidelity doing to the lives of your children?
When your man is committing sexual immorality throughout your marriage, is that the type of action you want your children to emulate when they’re grown and married? After all, that’s what he’s teaching them.
And what is the unrepentant infidelity teaching them about Jesus Christ? Marriage God’s way is a reflection of the love of Christ towards His bride, the Church.
Will this loveless marriage cause your children to stumble in their faith?
“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. Mark 9:42
God can redeem any marriage if the two spouses are willing to surrender to Him. Jesus is for reconciliation but that doesn’t mean that both spouses are. One may not care about following the Lord and they’re not willing to submit themselves to the authority of Christ or the Word of God. So they make the decision to leave the marriage. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 7:15, “But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.”
For adultery, again, God wants reconciliation because He hates divorce as He declares in Malachi 2:16, “I hate divorce!” However, Jesus permits divorce in the case of sexual immorality based on Matt.19:9 “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality,and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
Man was the one who created the institution of divorce. This was never God’s plan for the marriage covenant.
Bottom line: You have biblical grounds to leave the marriage. And perhaps you leaving will be a wake-up call for your husband to get right with God ??
For more on my views about divorce, here is a great article from FamilyLife that goes into this topic much more extensively. Personally, I hold to the same Biblical views regarding divorce as FamilyLife.
(If you have a marriage where your husband wants to restore the relationship and God is prompting in your heart to remain in your marriage, here are a few sites of Christian couples that have done just that! These sites are a part of Christian Marriage Bloggers Assoc., a group that I’m affiliated with as well.)
Live a poured out life for Christ,
Need some encouragement and guidance in your marriage? Grab my latest book, Wives of the Bible: 25 Easy Lessons You Can Learn from these Imperfect Women that Will Radically Transform Your Marriage.